Rachel found herself stepping out of her room earlier than usual. There was solid reasoning behind it: it would be the first class of her favorite material, within her favorite subject, taught by her favorite teacher. One would think that sort of thing would put a smile on the redhead's lips, given the excitement bubbling up under the surface, but that wasn't the case. She looked as hostile as ever - there just happened to be a twinge of interest in her gaze. She took her usual seat in the front row, setting down her bag and unsheathing her wand. She didn't even need to see the teacher perform the spell, nor hear the incantation, to replicate the effect. If there was any area in magic Rachel excelled in, it was water based magic and nobody could take it from her. It was one of very, very few things in that world she felt she was worth a damn with, and she wouldn't hold back on it. As she waited for a second task, the girl traced her wand in the air, wordlessly summoning a simple stream of water that followed the wand's movements around. A simple means of distracting herself, though she couldn't help but hope they'd get to do some precise target practice at one point or another.
Rachel Ryan earned a Medal Class Champion Level One
A sixth year electing to attend the Intermediate class was something that made sense in Rachel's head, but from the looks of it, it wasn't something most people she knew could relate to. The redhead had found out that same morning that she'd be flying solo in that class, without either of her Sturt companions showing up to the party - they both had undertaken the Advanced class for some reason. While it wasn't something that bothered her in itself, Rachel couldn't help but feel somewhat deflated at the lack of companionship that day. She stepped into the class and decided to sit in the back, unlike what she normally did, given that there was no reason to sit in the front anymore. It wasn't a class she particularly cared for either, which contributed for Rachel's general bad mood at the time. She could only hope that it would go by quick so she could go to Quidditch practice afterwards and actually feel a modicum of joy that day.
Rachel Ryan earned a Medal School Superstar Level One
Rachel Ryan earned a Trophy Prolific Poster Level Three
"Uh... Maybe later..." MJ had hoped it wouldn't have all gone back to her, yet, it did. She would have to do her own performance sooner or later, wouldn't she? She could feel the worry bubbling up deep inside, her brain actively trying to resist such an activity. But, with the oldest student in the room being so nice, it would have been far too rude for her to outright reject it as well - she was between a rock and a hard place. "Now ya speakin' my language." The foreign student spoke up as Alex talked to her. "Honestly, I'll take both things. Gotta start somewhere anyway, 'n doesn't hurt to expand 'n all." She wasn't entirely sure which route she wanted to take just yet, regardless. Getting experience in both from the get go would most certainly help in her picking and choosing what she wanted for her future. Neither of the three seemed to speak up at all pertaining the glasses - the only sound that followed was MJ placing her guitar in its case and zipping it shut. If she wasn't going to play it that day, there was no need for it to be outside. She then hoisted it up and around her shoulders, like a backpack. "We can practice together, y'know." Laurie said to Max, not finding any reason in her head as to why they hadn't yet. Within her trunk was a drum kit, and they could soundproof it easily; all Max would have to do was to bring her own instruments inside whenever she wanted to play them.
Laurie gave Alexander a mock salute with the modified drumsticks with the compliment, and took the time to dispel the transfiguration so they'd return to their original form. Even if it did cater to her ego somewhat to be recognized in her musical aptitude, she was still more focused on the high that was having made that impromptu cover with her friend - Laurie wasn't there to look good, she was there to have fun. Her attention was captured by her roommate once again, an eyebrow raising as Max seemingly went ahead and hit on her without even being prompted - but perhaps, she didn't even realize her words could be taken in such a way. More impressive than that was the backflip she had seemingly done for no reason at all other than just feeling like it. Other than a friendly wink at the statement, Laurie didn't reply to it at all, wanting to leave it at that so the meetup could proceed. It seemed that it was Alexander's turn to show off his skills. As he went on about his guitar having a name, MJ's gaze lowered to her own instrument once again. The guitar in her hands never had one to her knowledge - at least she herself hadn't given it a name, and Vivian hadn't as far as she was aware. Should she give the guitar a name as well? What would she even call it, Vivian? The thought made her grimace ever so slightly with the cringey idea. Just because she played because of her little sister didn't mean that it should be named after her. Perhaps she could get Justice to name it instead...? Rachel, in the meantime, was more distracted by the fact that there were wine glasses at school. Not only that, there were wine glasses in the Musiciary classroom. Her eyes squinted and her head tilted mildly to the side in confusion as Alex's spell took effect. "What the fuck?" She muttered under her breath, her brain not computing what she was seeing - quite the feat, all things considered, given the nature of their studies. The redhead's ear twitched in annoyance as the piano was enchanted to operate on its own once more, jaw clenching as she struggled not to voice her frustrations. Rachel realized it was unhealthy to have such an attachment to the instrument, but that skill was all she had to her name. To see someone else play it, directly or otherwise, felt like someone was stealing her identity; or worse, prove how unimportant her dedication was, because they could do it too. She'd need to take a long walk after the meeting. But when it came to an end, she let out a breath she didn't realize she was holding - one of relief. "We done yet?"
Laurie found herself having to contain a chuckle the moment Max started - she knew that song. She found it quite funny that a redhead of all things was playing the same song as Merida from Brave. Knowing it by heart, she couldn't help but smirk as she took out her wand and morphed her drumsticks to resemble swizzle sticks, wanting to go with a more atmospheric vibe to it. It wasn't to show off at that point - rather, she wanted to accompany her friend and bring her remarkable skill into the limelight, even if it was technically Laurie's grand presentation. Focusing mostly on having a steady rhythm upon the toms and the rare cymbal use, careful not to hit the instrument as hard as she usually did so not to drown out her roommate's voice due to a lack of use of a microphone. For once, Rachel was legitimately impressed - not at the fact that the two seemed to sync up quite easily, but at Max being able to sing while playing her instrument so effortlessly. Having engaged in that endeavor herself many a time before, she knew how ridiculously difficult it could be. While she had trained herself to be able to do such a thing, she would be lying if it didn't strain her concentration more than she'd like it to. To see someone do it at the drop of a hat like that surprisingly struck her with awe, as well as an unwelcome feeling of inadequacy. MJ's attention was on the same girl, but on how much skill she displayed with the guitar instead. Looking at her own instrument, and back at Max's, it occurred to her that she could potentially ask her for a tip or two. Maybe she should approach her at a later time? Even if her apparent bubbly personality was quite intimidating in the blonde's point of view. The song that the pair played eventually came to an end. Laurie ended up not displaying much in the way of skill due to the demands of the tune in question, but it didn't bother her much at all - if anything, it made her look forward to potential future covers they could make. "Not bad, Merida. Not bad. Not only a princess, but a Disney princess at that. Should I expect a grizzly bear occupying my bed later?"
Nobody made a sound. Rachel was allowed to freely focus on the harmonious notes she was producing with her instrument of choice with no interruptions. At least the group knew how to be minimally respectful, she thought, as the earlier tension dissipated and she let the music flow out of her dexterous fingers. A few minutes went on with no one saying a word, until the last few notes echoed through the room. A cocky smirk crossed her lips as she finished. 'Not so bad, eh?' "Hm?" Laurie looked at Max as she got a bit closer than the shorter of the two had intended; not that she'd complain, of course. She let the redhead go once prompted, and her now free hand reached to grab one of the sticks the other one was holding. "Well, actually. Mind cuing me in, princess? Let's improv a little. Show me what you got." Might as well make things fun instead of just drumming up a beat she knew by heart. MJ, however, wasn't nearly as happy about things as the other two - she was in awe, certainly, but she couldn't help but feel extra self conscious as the gap in skill became painfully obvious from those performances alone. What was she even doing there? Did she truly belong?
The beautiful performance had finally come to an end, and soon after, the time came for the next person to step up to the plate with a little performance of her own. Anxiety taking a hold of her mind, MJ was quick to speak up. "I... I think I'll pass on this, if that's alright..." She looked down at her instrument. It was okay to do it in a casual environment, but she really didn't want to be pushed to do so in a situation where all eyes were on her - even if they only belonged to four others. In the meantime, Laurie didn't pay much mind to what that girl saying, focusing on the approaching redhead instead. "Nice show you put on there." She complimented. Truth be told, the younger Spencer couldn't even hope to accomplish a fraction of what her roommate just did. In her mind, she just hit things with two sticks and that was that. She liked listening to music, but didn't have any innate talent for it. As a reward, when Max went to reach for a seat, Laurie took her hand and led her to sit on the Durmstrang student's left leg instead. "Best seat in the house, it's your reward." She joked. "My turn then." Spoke the Irish girl, already sitting by the piano, her irritation levels having gone down once the instrument's incantation was dispelled. She cracked her knuckles and stretched her shoulders lightly, taking a moment to think on what to play. Whatever it was, she had to blow the previous performance out the water; at least, the piano part of it. She ultimately decided to go for something composed by Frédéric Chopin, that she had been working on lately - Fantasie-Impromptu Op. 66. She had always been partial to classical music, and it was certainly a fantastic motivator to her spending very long hours, day in and day out, practicing that instrument for many years. Her fingers proceeded to dance along the keyboard effortlessly, a testament of her talent and skill.
Rachel observed the oldest of that trio. Bourke Captain, eh? That meant there was a good possibility she would become the interschool team Captain as well the following year. Begrudgingly, the redhead chose to behave. The last thing she needed was to have her effort to get into the team curbed by a behavioral bias. She had what it took to be a part of it, and wouldn't let a momentary lapse get in the way. She'd have all the time in the world to badmouth everything and everyone after the fact. "You look quite dashing yourself." Lisa replied, appreciating Aspen's choice of suit. Lisa knew that she looked 'dazzling', as Aspen had put it, but it never hurt to hear it - she always enjoyed that sort of attention, and, even if it wasn't exactly common knowledge, she appreciated it far more when it came from the same team as compared to the other side of the fence. She wanted to take the girl on her offer, never having had much of a complaint about her company, but what would that do to her reputation? "Ain't that yer guy over there?" A certain Irish woman's voice reached her ears, and Lisa looked at where she was pointing. It seemed that a teenager in an expensive suit was looking around, as if trying to find his date, and asking people something - presumably if they knew where she was. The blonde closed her eyes, as if the mere sight gave her a headache. 'Stupid handsy asshole...' She had a choice to make. Either risk her reputation with rumors over being seen dancing with a woman, or risk being expelled due to being very close to decking the man, should he attempt to get within arm's reach again. Ultimately grabbing Aspen's wrist, it seemed that she had picked the former. "You didn't see me." She told Rachel, who shrugged, before walking towards a more spacious area for a proper dance - dragging Aspen along. As she mentally evaluated the fact she was the taller of the two and might not end up leading the dance at all, she resented the fact she had decided on wearing heels with her getup that day. She was already the taller of the two, but the increased height would make it look a bit awkward.
"Hm? Who're ya?" Asked the Irish girl, not recognizing the fellow teen who approached them - truth be told, she knew very few people in the school, despite having lazed within its confines for a couple months at that point. The only people she knew were the ones in the Sturt Quidditch team, and she was fairly certain this person wasn't a Sturt at all to begin with. "Rachel Ryan, meet Aspen Clarke. Aspen Clarke, meet Rachel Ryan. Get along, you two might be on the same team next year." Said Lisa as she introduced the two. "If you get on the interschool team, that is." Rachel didn't take too well to the possibility that she wouldn't make it, which earned the younger Sturt a glare; one that she brushed off like nothing. Instead, Lisa turned around to grab a cup and proceeded to fill it up with the punch that the redhead (and herself, admittedly) had considered cursing just under a minute before. "The party is quite boring, to be honest with you." Lisa finally responded, and a cross-armed Rachel nodded in agreement. "I'm yet to think on how to spice things up. That being said, you're dressed to impress today, aren't you? Who's the lucky date?" Even if she wouldn't say it out loud, Lisa did think the suit fit Aspen quite nicely. She certainly was far more pleasing to the eye than the date she had brought along. Nothing wrong with the man - save for the fact he was a man. "...I might just leave early, this sucks..." Rachel muttered in annoyance.
It seemed that MJ went and put her foot in her mouth again. She wasn't sure if she felt proud of apparently having 'innate talent', as Alex put it, or if it caused her distress; she was leaning more towards the latter, as such a thing would get her attention she didn't want. She settled with looking down at her instrument, not replying, with a look of apprehension splattered on her face. She was hoping for an exchange of knowledge and some light jamming, not to put in a spotlight. Could she still cut her losses and leave...? It seemed that Max was going to do a bit of a solo number. Rachel's brows burrowed in frustration as the sound of piano keys being pressed without input reached her ears, and she looked at the instrument she was sitting by - it was the same one. How dare she use it without asking for Rachel's help or permission? The Sturt crossed her arms as she watched the keys move, taking a deep breath to keep herself from having a very vocal outburst about the situation. Laurie, on the other hand, was visibly impressed by her roommate. She watched intently, not ever having thought that Max was the type to play the violin - certainly a pleasant surprise.
MJ nodded in understanding as Alexander addressed her introduction, and decided to further elaborate on it. "I play by ear, so I suppose it would be best if I got some sort of primer on music theory..." Reading tablature would be a godsend, but she had never gotten the chance. She was semi-decent in her own way by all accounts, but she couldn't help but feel she could be better if she had been able to take the time to dive into the subject. Now with a proper school club she could have that opportunity. She wasn't, however, interested in learning other instruments, so she kept quiet after that. MJ didn't seem too pleased, however, with the idea of playing for an audience. In fact, it made her rethink signing up in the first place. "Performin's no problem t'me." Rachel replied nonchalantly, giving out a shrug. She had done it before on multiple occasions, and was more than capable of handling the nerves. Rachel knew she had been born to take the stage, and at that point it was just a matter of being noticed by the right people. That, and making contacts. Thus far, it had proved to be a bit of a difficult endeavor given that she had been forced to move constantly. As others talked, she took the opportunity to move towards the piano, sitting by it and resting her palms against either side of her seat. "Sure, I guess." Chimed in Laurie from across the room. She didn't think she'd particularly care enough about the club to actually keep up with a twice monthly showcase quota, but with her roommate being a musician herself, it was possible that the short stack would find the proper motivation to do so. She had nothing to lose, after all, and didn't mind the spotlight that much to begin with. Perhaps it could be an easy way of having fun, even if it came under the guise of a chore in her mind. To Max's statement, she could go on board. "So like, a little jamming session?"
"I fully intend t'make a career outta this." Spoke the Irish girl, uncrossing her arms and pushing herself off the wall. "So, ya could argue I'm here for networkin'. Don't really have any stage fright or anythin' either, so guess I could help out any folks here who need it 'n such." Rachel shrugged. She didn't want to be waylaid, per se, but if there was one thing she could do, it was facing a crowd with a straight face. Over the years she's grown quite aware of the reasoning why so many talented musicians didn't pursue a career in the field. Extreme anxiety and the aforementioned stage fright. Building others up could make for a good safety net down the line if things didn't pay off like she wanted them to. Someone who needed help with dealing with such attention was MJ, but deep down she doubted a girl that gave off such a harsh impression could make a dent in that issue. "Uh... I'm here to pass the time, mostly. That and maybe learn a thing or two that I don't know, since I'm not exactly an expert..." She didn't even want to touch another guitar; she just wanted to know how to best honor her sister's. Laurie smiled a bit with Max's quip in the meantime, and managed to hold back a laugh as the introductions continued. When she was the last one left, she glanced over at Max. "You can use my trunk, y'know. Nobody's gonna hear you through there." She briefly thought about making another joke regarding how her friend already sounded like she was murdering a poor animal, but ultimately decided against it for the sake of moving things along. "I'm here because I'm still scouting out this place, I guess. I don't really wanna follow this as a career or anything. I guess another reason would be sheer force of habit. I've always been in Musiciary-esque clubs, and it's not really gonna change now."
Rachel Ryan earned a Medal Local Hero Level One
Rachel Ryan earned a Medal The Opener Level One
It was odd for Lisa Knotley to find a break day so pleasant, but there she was - in the McCarthy manor (who knew Cross had friends in such places? Certainly had more worth than Lisa had thought her to have previously, which was for mere comic relief), reclining upon a lounge chair, in view of the pool and its inhabitants. With swimwear that revealed a lean figure, sunglasses that shielded her eyes from the sun and a good book to read - Quidditch Through the Ages, by Kennilworthy Whisp, her favorite one -, it was a good opportunity as any to work on her tan. The Summer was about to end, after all. Might as well milk it for all it was worth. That was, of course, until the sunlight was blocked by someone standing directly in front of where it would have been from her low position. "Ya just gonna hang in there?" Came the accent of a fellow Sturt. Lisa looked up to see a redhead in a one-piece and a questionable looking sun hat. "It's a pool party, eh? Ya should be swimmin' 'n shit." Rachel motioned towards the somewhat populated pool, but was waved off by the blonde, whom was motioning for her to get out of the way. "I'm trying to work on my tan. You're getting in the way." Lisa's gaze returned to the book, and Rachel sighed in irritation. Lisa was the only person she actually got along with in that place. Was she really on her own for the whole afternoon? "...Fine. Geez." Accepting defeat, Rachel left Lisa behind and strolled by herself towards the pool, eventually sitting at the edge of it with part of her legs sinking into the water. She moved them back and forth to amuse herself for a little big prior to being splashed by two idiots whom seemingly jumped into the water right beside her. "Hey, watch it!" Lisa didn't seem much upset by how loud her surroundings were; she just reached to grab the glass of iced tea resting upon the arm rest of her chair, bringing the straw to her lips and lightly sipping on it as she continued to consume the contents of the greatest book known to mankind.
- 1st to 3rd Year - Hogwarts, Gryffindor House
- 4th to 5th Year - Ilvermorny, Pukwudgie House
- Current - Tallygarunga, Sturt House
- Really wants to connect with someone in some way, and craves people's attention;
- Kinda sorta really likes sappy romantic fiction;
- Victim of unintentional neglect through her childhood due to her parents being overworked to their eyeballs at all times;
- Actually a very good person with solid moral standards, but very embarrassed about doing 'good for the sake of good', having the urge to rebel;
- Is deeply unsettled by the thought of harming any living being, even if it's just a bug or an actual enemy out to kill her;
- Selfless to ridiculous extremes, with a big tendency for self sacrifice;
- Doesn't think she's worth anything nor anyone's time, causing her to push everyone around her away with her behavior.
- Has the tendency to swear every other phrase;
- Thinks the sorting system is both drunk and sadistic for placing her in the Sturt house;
- Sarcasm galore;
- A bit too influenced by Internet meme culture;
- Does not play well with others, nor with authority (unless it's a sport);
- Smiling isn't a thing - the most you get out of her is a smirk when she happens to make fun of you. Otherwise, she looks perpetually annoyed/pissed off;
- Extremely talented vocalist (soprano range) and pianist, looking to pursue a career in either or both;
- Excellent memory, to the point she breezes through school without bothering to study, retaining what she needs in class directly;
- A source of frustration would be that she shows potential to be so much greater than what she bothers to apply herself to;
- Versatile Quidditch player, mainly playing as a Beater but doubling as a competent Seeker when needed;
- Huge fan of baseball, rooting for the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees, and used to play it herself during her Muggle culture-focused year;
- Absolute natural in water-based elemental magic, and seems to be jumping a few hoops over what's expected of her as she seems at least capable of incorporating electricity into her magic;
- Left handed (primarily);
- Likes to tinker... with anything, really.
A very rude, sarcastic and headstrong girl, it's not uncommon for her to rub most people she meets the wrong way. She speaks her mind with hostility dripping from every word, and even people that she may be close to have a problem dodging this. Those who don't understand her usually rule her out as an angsty teenager, and those who do start believing she's a force of nature with a lot of heart.
Most of the time she just acts like she wants to be left alone - her upbringing inadequacy makes her question her worth, meaning she doesn't believe others should bother with her, thus causing her hostility to surface. If someone bothers to spend time with her anyway, it's hard to shed that massive mental barrier but her amicable manners start to peer through her words and actions. If they end up in the other end of the spectrum, however, she takes great pleasure in making fun of them and going out of her way to mess with them, akin to a bully.
She doesn't let conventional fears get in the way of whatever it is she must do, since 'you gotta do what you gotta do'. The quicker you start, the quicker you finish. Never leave anyone behind, and get to the finish line even if you have to cut a limb off. Albeit reckless and impulsive, her bravery and seldom displayed empathy has won brownie points with authority figures of previous schools, and she has always left them in good standing.
Rachel values other people's lives and feelings over her own as she considers herself unimportant. This makes it so she has a very big tendency for self sacrifice over others, often behind the scenes, not hesitating in being an absolute warrior for that cause. Even if she doesn't like the person too much, she will go out of her way if she sees they absolutely need it. She rationalizes this via excuses, saying she's doing it for someone else she does care about for example.
Ultimately, her self worth issues also cause her not to care much about her studies to the point she never picks up a book outside of class. Throughout her academic career her teachers always found this very unfortunate, as she certainly presents all the signs for a witch with extreme potential - she dominates the subjects she's in, and shows the occasional unintended flair of brilliance, mostly out of mischievousness and accidental discovery.
Rachel is a bit on the shorter side, standing at around 160 cm. Her petite figure belies her fitness and upper body strength - she's a competent runner and beater, and very light on her feet. This often leads to people underestimating her abilities in athletic fields.
Her ginger hair is actually curly, although she magically straightens it on a daily basis since she doesn't like it. Her hazel eyes need the aid of reading glasses but she's rarely spotted with those on at all, since they hurt her very sensitive skin and leave the sides of her nose raw.
Her wardrobe is extravagant on occasion, though this isn't exactly a fashion statement - rather, it's to annoy people around her for no reason at all, and unconscious means to getting the attention she craves.
Rachel Vanessa Ryan was born to two pureblood wizards in Dublin, Ireland. Her childhood was rather chaotic - she was constantly moving around the United Kingdom due to her parents' work demands, and never stayed in one school for too long. As a result she never formed any friendships to speak of, and her only actual 'friend' was the piano that was taken with them in every move. She also took a liking to running by herself as means of expending extra energy, as their neighborhoods were mostly safe and/or magically protected.
The longest time she's been at a school was when she was in Hogwarts - for three full years, she was in the Gryffindor house. She was somewhat alienated from her peers despite the sense of camaraderie and her successes in Quidditch, becoming an alternate player for them in the first year, and quickly rising to a main roster position in the second.
Just as she felt like she could start fitting in, her parents were assigned to New York, in the United States. Rachel was transferred to Ilvermorny, and drafted to the Pukwudgie house. The process repeated itself - except she felt herself growing more withdrawn, and more verbally abusive. She didn't even stand a chance before her parents had to move again to Toronto, taking her along and forcing her to take a year off of schooling.
They were in a Muggle community that time, and so she had to adapt. Being used to being a Beater in Quidditch, she had an easy time taking up baseball and found out she actually enjoyed it. The introduction of Muggle (and, unfortunately, Internet) culture made her temporarily mellow out and form a few bonds, for as fleeting as they were, which made that year and a half go by a bit too fast for her liking. And as her life usually dictated, any feelings of settling in at last were soon followed by being uprooted. It happened then as well, and she was moved to Australia.
By that point, Rachel was visibly angry over moving so many times - her parents opted to sign her up to Tallygarunga and leave her there regardless of where they may end up, something she honestly doubts will happen. Due to different in school times she applied just before the school year was about to end, and was accepted in to the fifth year she had already completed for the sole purpose of an examination of talents and knowledge to ensure she was prepared to take on the sixth year. With abundant free time, all there's left for her to do is to aimlessly roam the campus, as well as Narrie, and endlessly torment the people she comes across.